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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (December 14, 2014)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants defeated the Washington Redskins 24-13 at MetLIfe Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The victory improved the Giants overall record to 5-9 an ensured that the Giants will finish third place in the NFC East.

The star of the game was rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham, who caught 12 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns – all of the touchdowns scored by New York.

Odell Beckham and Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (December 14, 2014)

Odell Beckham and Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

“The young man is having outstanding success,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin of Beckham after the game. “When we are getting the ball to him, he’s doing very well with it. He’s a very good football player. He has the ability to go the distance, I think, any time he gets it – whether as a punt returner or as an offensive player. He can run the football; he can throw the football, so we’ve tried to create a lot of situations. He does have the talent to exploit the defense in a lot of different ways.”

The Giants received the football to start the game, picked up one first down due to a penalty, and punted. With Colt McCoy at quarterback, the Redskins drove 79 yards in 13 plays on their opening possession to set up a successful 35-yard field goal.

Wideout Preston Parker returned the ensuing kickoff 45 yards to the Giants’ 44-yard line. New York then drove 56 yards in 12 plays to take a 7-3 lead when quarterback Eli Manning found Beckham for a 10-yard score on 3rd-and-8. Key plays on this drive also included a 15-yard pass to wide receiver Kevin Ogletree on 3rd-and-4 and a 2-yard run by fullback Henry Hynoski and 4th-and-1.

After both teams exchanged punts, the Redskins, now with Robert Griffin III subbing for the injured McCoy, drove 77 yards in seven plays to regain the lead 10-7 on a 9-yard touchdown throw.

New York punted twice and Washington once on the ensuing three possessions. Then came the craziness at the end of the first half.

With 2:55 left to play in the half, the Redskins drove from their own 10-yard line to the Giants’ 8-yard line. On 3rd-and-goal from the 8-yard line, and only with eight seconds left, it appeared Griffin scored on a run around right end to give Washington a 17-7 halftime advantage. But before Griffin crossed the goal line, the ball came out of his hands. The instant replay official ruled that Griffin had fumbled the ball out of bounds in the end zone, resulting in a touchback. The antics continued as wide receiver Santana Moss of the Redskins was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and thrown out of the game due to his verbal attack on the officials due to the replay reversal.

At the half, the Redskins led the Giants 10-7.

The 30 yards in penalties on Moss at the end of the first half affected the start of the third quarter. With the Giants set to kickoff from Washington 35-yard line, the team attempted an onside kick that was successfully recovered by cornerback Chandler Fenner at the Redskins’ 17-yard line. New York could not pick up a first down, but the recovery did set up a 32-yard field goal by place kicker Josh Brown that tied the game at 10-10.

On Washington’s first drive of the second half, the Redskins reached the New York 36-yard line. On 4th-and-2, Griffin was sacked by linebacker Devon Kennard and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. After another punt by the Giants, Washington regained the lead as Griffin hit a 61-yard pass play on 3rd-and-6 from the Washington 11-yard line. Safety Antrel Rolle was beat on the play but hustle by cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie saved the touchdown as the Redskins receiver was tackled behind on his way to the end zone. The Redskins ended up settling for a 38-yard field goal.

Trailing 13-10 late in the third quarter, the Giants drove 81 yards in four plays to take the lead for good. The key plays on the drive were a 16 yard pass to tight end Daniel Fells, a 23-yard pass interference call against the Redskins on Beckham, and then a 35-yard pass play from Manning to Beckham for the touchdown. Giants 17 – Redskins 13.

Cullen Jenkins, New York Giants (December 14, 2014)

Cullen Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The Redskins went three-and-out at the start of the fourth quarter, but the Giants could not take advantage of excellent field position as they were stopped on 4th-and-1 on the Washington 28-yard line on a Beckham running attempt. Earlier on this drive, a 30-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Beckham was wiped out due to a holding penalty on right tackle Justin Pugh.

The New York defense held again and the Giants put Washington away for good with a 12-play, 76-yard drive. On 3rd-and-2 from the Washington 47-yard line, Manning found Beckham again for 21 yards. A few snaps later came a huge 3rd-and-8 pass play from Manning to wide receiver Rueben Randle for 18 yards on 3rd-and-8. Then on 2nd-and-goal from the six, Manning found Beckham for his third scoring play. The Giants led 24-13 with 4:41 to play.

The Redskins could not move the ball on their next possession as Griffin was sacked twice. The Giants ran the ball three times and punted. Washington had one last chance but couldn’t move the football and punted with 20 seconds left. Beckham muffed the punt and Washington recovered, but it was too little too late.

Offensively, Manning finished 23-of-34 for 250 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions (118.5 quarterback rating). Beckham caught 12-of-15 passes thrown in his direction for 143 yards and three touchdowns. No other Giants target had more than 30 yards receiving. The Giants only rushed the ball for 49 yards on 22 carries.

Defensively, the Giants accrued seven sacks: DE Jason Pierre Paul (2.5), DT Johnathan Hankins (2.5), DE/DT Cullen Jenkins (1), LB Devon Kennard (0.5), and DE Damontre Moore (0.5).

Video highlights/lowlights of the game are available at NFL.com. The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s post-game transcript is available at BigBlueInteractive.com.

Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were LB Jacquian Williams (concussion), LB James Davidson, CB Jayron Hosley, RB Chris Ogbonnaya, OT James Brewer (concussion), and OG Eric Herman.

Article on the New York Giants and the 2015 NFL Draft: Eli Manning’s heir? … not yet as NY Giants needs loom much larger than next QB in ’15 NFL draft by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin and the 2014 New York Giants: Why it’s not time for Mara & Co. to give Coughlin the boot by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Article on QB Ryan Nassib: Ryan Nassib’s life as a backup quarterback in the NFL: Mimic the opposing QB in practice by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on WR Odell Beckham: How does Odell Beckham Jr. relate to fame? by Bob Glauber of Newsday

Dec 142014
 
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Dec 122014
 
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December 12, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: OT James Brewer (concussion) and LB Jacquian Williams (concussion) did not practice on Friday. Both have officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.

QB Eli Manning (back), LB Jameel McClain (knee), and LB Mark Herzlich (concussion) fully practiced. All three players are “probable” for the game.

December 12, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Friday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com and BigBlueInteractive.com.

Giants.com Q&A with Head Coach Tom Coughlin: The Coughlin Corner: Goals for Week 15 by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

December 12, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Friday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com and BigBlueInteractive.com:

Article on RB Andre Williams: Giants rookie: Near death at 2, near stardom at 22 by Mark Cannizzaro of The New York Post

Articles on New York Giants Wide Receivers:

Article on LB Mark Herzlich: Giants’ Herzlich protected by concussion guidelines by Jeff Roberts of The Bergen Record

Article on S Stevie Brown: Once again a starter, Stevie Brown looks to make impact in secondary by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Dec 122014
 
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Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (September 25, 2014)

Rashad Jennings – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Washington Redskins at New York Giants, December 14, 2014

The early audition for the 2015 New York Giants roster continues. That includes coaches as well as players.

FOUR DOWNS:

First Down
No major injures.
The Giants already have 20 players on injured reserve, including a potentially career-altering injury to WR Victor Cruz and career-ending injury to RB David Wilson. The last thing this team needs in December is a serious injury to an important cog that could impact the 2015 campaign. In particular, get Eli Manning and Odell Beckham out of this season healthy.

Second Down
Is Perry Fewell gone, or in the process of saving his job?
Statistically-speaking, Perry Fewell’s defense was among the NFL’s worst in 2011, 2012, and most of 2014. But the NYG defense has improved in the last two weeks by playing two of league’s worst offenses (Jaguars and Titans). It is now the 23rd-ranked defense and could continue to improve by facing offensively-challenged teams like the Redskins and Rams before facing the more explosive Eagles. The defense has been very aggressive in the last two games with many more blitzes (and successful blitzes being called).

Does Fewell only get more aggressive against lesser competition, fearing to do so against better offenses? Or is this yet another example of him changing his style mid- to late-season after repeated failure, only with him reverting to his old unsuccessful schemes if he returns in 2015?

Management has to be VERY careful here when evaluating Perry Fewell and the ENTIRE defensive staff. It must not base its judgement on the last five games of 2014, but the the entire body of evidence from 2010-2014. Despite changing components, the overall track record has not been good with many late-game breakdowns.

Third Down
Who will be part of the solution on the offensive line?
Obviously, the hope and need is that Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, and Geoff Schwartz will be part of the answer moving forward. Assuming Richburg will be the center, what positions will Pugh and Schwartz play? Is offensive line coach Pat Flaherty, who been with the team since 2004 but who has been unable to mold a cohesive unit the last couple of seasons, the right man to steward them forward?

“What’s (Pugh’s) better position? I don’t know,” said Flaherty recently. “He’s an NFL right tackle for the New York Giants and is that his best position right now? It is. I don’t see anything in the future that changes unless something happens in free agency or in the draft. Can he be a good right tackle in this league? Absolutely, I think he can be one of the best.”

Obviously much depends on what transpires in free agency and the draft in 2015. What about Will Beatty? He has rebounded from a terribly inconsistent 2013, but the Giants could do better. But with needs everywhere, is he a guy they can win with while addressing many other positions of need?

In the last three games, it will be important to see how Beatty does at left tackle and Pugh at right tackle.

Fourth Down
Who will be part of the solution on the defensive line?
For the last few years, much of New York’s issues have involved their line play on offense and defense. With important cogs like Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Linval Joseph, and Chris Canty fading out of the picture, the Giants have struggled to maintain the same elite level of play. Who on the current roster should be part of the fix? Jason Pierre-Paul has played better than his injury-plagued 2013 campaign, but he still has not regained his 2011 form. He looked very sharp last week against backup tackles but he needs to be an impact player against top-flight starters. Pierre-Paul faces some good tests down the stretch and these games will be important for him. The bad news for the Giants is if he departs in free agency, they will have yet another huge hole to fill. He still is that one guy on defense who other teams game plan around.

What about Damontre Moore? Is he a future starter or simply just a pass-rushing role player? Is Kerry Wynn just a guy? Johnathan Hankins looks like a foundation player, but what about Jay Bromley? Cullen Jenkins will probably be back one more season, but the team probably should move on from Mike Patterson. Markus Kuhn seems like just a guy.

BREAKING DOWN WASHINGTON:

OFFENSE
Strength?
Statistically, Washington’s offense (12) is better than New York’s (14). They pass the ball better (10th versus 13th) while the Giants run the ball slightly better (21st versus 22nd). The Redskins have some dangerous weapons at key positions. Alfred Morris is still one of the NFL’s tougher, more physical runners. DeSean Jackson (who has a shin injury) and Pierre Garcon are very dangerous wideouts who can break a game open. The Redskins like to throw to their tight ends as both Niles Paul and Jordan Reed each have 36 receptions. Trent Williams is a very good left tackle.

Weakness?
Though the Redskins can move the ball, they have struggled scoring (26th in the NFL) and keeping drives alive (30th in the NFL on third-down conversions). They turn the football over quite a bit too. The offensive line has struggled to protect the quarterback, and most importantly, their quarterback play – be it Robert Griffin III, Colt McCoy, or Kurt Cousins – has been suspect.

DEFENSE
Strength?
Statistically, the 3-4 Redskins defense is far better than the Giants, ranking 10th in yards allowed (to New York’s 23rd). They are 11th in run defense and 13th in pass defense. The Redskins actually have a pretty tough and physical front seven and can be difficult to run on. RDE Jason Hatcher (5.5 sacks but battling knee issue) and OLB Ryan Kerrigan (11.5 sacks) have been disruptive. NT Chris Baker and LDE Jarvis Jenkins are tough against the run, and have actually forced former NYG Barry Cofield to the bench as a top reserve. The other linebackers are no slouches either. ILB Keenan Robinson leads the team in tackles, ILB Perry Riley is athletic, and OLB Trent Murphy is an up-and-coming rookie.

Weakness?
Despite not giving up a lot of yards, the Redskins give up a lot of points, though some of that is related to offensive issues (turnovers). The secondary is not as strong, starting one rookie at corner, and the Redskins continue to have issues at safety. They can be vulnerable to the big play.

SPECIAL TEAMS
The Redskins special teams are ordinary. They have given up one kickoff return TD and one punt return TD this year.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

WR Odell Beckham
He’s the reason to tune in. This might be the week where he breaks one on special teams too.

Damontre Moore/Kerry Wynn
While Cullen Jenkins may see a lot of time at defensive end, this is a good opponent to evaluate how Moore and Wynn do against the run. Not just in terms of the physical nature of the Redskins’ running game, but also the amount of misdirection the Redskins will employ at times. Like JPP, Moore hasn’t been the most disciplined guy out there on the field in terms of maintaining his gap responsibility.

FROM THE COACHES’ MOUTH:

Tom Coughlin - “You really can’t overemphasize the fact that (the Redskins’) record is 3-10. How the heck could they be the 10th-rated defense in the NFL and the 12th-rated offense? They do a lot of things very, very well. Obviously, putting it all together has been an issue. They’re not alone in that area, but they are very physical. They’re an outstanding defensive front. People don’t run the ball on them, they’re 11th in the league against the run. What they’ve really done, they’ve gone to an aggressive pressure package and they’ve made mistakes in the secondary and they’ve given up big plays. ”

Jay Gruden - “It is very difficult to be a one-dimensional team against a good pass rushing team like the Giants, the Rams, and the Colts. We have to do a good job staying in the football game, keeping the football game close where all three of our dimensions of runs, play actions, boot legs, and the drop backs are all opened in the play book, and not be one-dimensional.”

FINAL WORD:

Don’t be misled by the first meeting between these two teams. The 45 points scored by the Giants are misleading because so much of that was set up by terrible passing decisions made by Kirk Cousins (four interceptions), who no longer is in the picture. The Redskins can be very aggressive up front with a variety of blitz packages, and the Giants’ blockers have proven that they don’t handle the blitz very well. NT Chris Baker is going to be a problem for OC J.D. Walton and this is also a tough opponent to run the ball on. New York should attack early and often with the pass. If the Giants run, run, pass in this game, they may be falling right into the hands of Skins who then can be more aggressive on 3rd-and-long. Defensively, this will be an interesting game as the Redskins can run the ball and will use misdirection. Also, unlike the Jaguars and Titans, Washington has downfield passing threats who can break a game open. Eli and Odell could take over this game, but this is also a contest the Giants could very well lose. Much depends on how motivated each team is…who wants it more? I have no idea who will win, but if you were to put me on the spot…Redskins 21 – Giants 17.

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December 11, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: OT James Brewer (concussion) and LB Jacquian Williams (concussion) did not practice on Thursday.

QB Eli Manning (back) practiced officially on a limited basis.

“Eli practiced well and did everything,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “There wasn’t any real restriction on him, so we feel good about that.”

LB Jameel McClain (knee) and LB Mark Herzlich (concussion) fully practiced.

December 11, 2014 New York Giants Coach Media Sessions: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com and BigBlueInteractive.com:

December 11, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com and BigBlueInteractive.com:

7 Takeaways from Giants Media Hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on General Manager Jerry Reese: Why firing general manager Jerry Reese is a tough call for the Giants by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Article on QB Eli Manning: Eli Manning and the value of perfect attendance by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on WR Rueben Randle: Reuben Randle’s role in Giants offense receding by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on the New York Giants Defense: Kennard, Hankins Are The Building Blocks Of 2015 Giants Defense by Curt Macysyn for CBS New York

Articles on the New York Giants Defensive Line:

Article on the Giants-Titans Game: What the Giants rookies did in Tennessee to impress | Film review by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Giants Online – Giants vs. Redskins Preview: The video of this week’s Giants Online is available at Giants.com.

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